Panos Panay, the head of the Surface division at Microsoft has recently been busy, what with expanding the retail availability of Surface tablets and overseeing the development of a rumored Surface Mini.
But the Surface boss recently gave an interview to the Chinese website WPDang.
According to WPCentral, Panay was quoted as saying that Microsoft shows a lot of interest in consumer feedback, and the technology titan will be open to launching customized versions of the device if the customers really need it — emphasis on the phrase ‘if customers really need it’, please.
China, for instance, was one such exception where Redmond had to change its strategy.
It is the only country in the world that got a customized version of Surface — Windows 8 Pro replaced by Windows 8, along with a fully licensed version of Office 2013 Home & Student for the Surface Pro. According to Panos:
“The Chinese market has been a priority ever since the designing stage of Surface computers. After the launch of Surface RT in China, we got plenty of feedback from consumers here, saying they love how Surface RT comes with Office 2013 Home & Student RT. If that is what they want, Microsoft delivers. Yes, just China.
There won’t be customized Surfaces for any other region according to our current plans. This is because the Chinese consumers have demonstrated definite and strong demand for [permanently licensed Office suite].”
The version sold in the United States, and in all other countries for that matter, come with a one-month trial of the productivity suite. So in certain ways, this makes the Chinese variant of Surface tablets even more desirable.
One thing the Surface boss has not provided any further detail on is how it measure “strong demand”, but chances are media plays an important role in this regard.